WELLINGTON: Kiwibank successfully grew market share versus New Zealand’s big banks by focusing on financial education and behaviour change via its own unbranded TV show, according to a senior executive at the financial services brand.

Within 10 years of launch, Kiwibank – a locally-owned bank launched to compete against New Zealand’s foreign-owned banks – became the fifth largest bank in the country and needed to pivot, revealed Vesna Nixon, head of marketing campaigns at Kiwibank, at Mumbrella’s Finance Marketing Summit.

Research indicated that there was much work to be done helping New Zealanders to achieve financial independence and, for Kiwibank, there were opportunities in positioning itself as a gateway to more financial knowledge. (For more, read WARC’s report: How New Zealand’s Kiwibank boosted market share with unbranded TV.)

“In our view, what people really wanted to know was, why are we a bit weird with money? How do you buy happiness? How do we spend the money we don’t have? Why is saving so boring? What’s really a happy retirement?” said Nixon.

Working alongside its agency partner OMD Wellington and well-known psychologist Nigel Latta, the bank pitched a TV mini-series, Mind Over Money, which focused on financial psychology and education.

Nixon acknowledged that this approach was risky: “We spent the majority of our annual brand budget in a 12-week window that featured a show with just six 30-minute episodes. “We had to accept that the series would benefit our rivals because we were the smallest ‘big bank’ and we were doing a big category job,” she said.

The hope was that viewers would recognise their own behaviour in the subject matter and act on it, preferably with Kiwibank. In the first season, the programme increased sales of financial products across the board, but Kiwibank saw results too – the bank’s Net Promoter Score increased to 69%.

Brand-tracking showed 75% of viewers of the programme either agreed or strongly agreed with the statement that Kiwibank was leading the way and keeping up with the times, compared to only 48% of people who did not watch the series.

Following two seasons of Mind Over Money, the bank’s market share has grown from 10% to 11.6% and the bank now has more than one million customer relationships.

Sourced from WARC